Neymar steps down as Brazil captain after leading his country to Olympic glory in Rio 2016 gold medal match
Neymar Di Silva Santos Junior was made the team captain by former coach Dunga for in September 2014.
The Brazilian star did not participate in the 2016 Copa America for Brazil, but again took up the armband for the country’s Rio Olympics and was instrumental in his team’s historic victory.
Neymar captained the mainly under-23 side during the Games and Brazil’s Olympic coach Rogerio Micale described his decision to step down as noble.
“It was a noble gesture on Neymar’s part to leave it up to Tite,” said Rogerio.
The Barcelona star made the announcement following his brilliant performance in leading his country to its first Olympic Gold medal at the 2016 Olympics hosted .
Neymar hit the last free kick to put Brazil up 1-0 in the first half and then delivered the decisive penalty to ensure the host nation secures the Olympic title.
“I don’t take it as a pressure, but today as a champion, I am giving up the captain’s armband. I was glad to receive it, I have honored it with affection, but today I am leaving it”, said Neymar.
Neymar further said that their coach has the mandate to choose another captain who can steer the ship in the field of play.
The new coach of the Brazil senior side Tite will take charge of his first game against Ecuador in World Cup 2018 qualifying on 1 September after Dunga was sacked following Brazil’s group stage exit from the Copa America.
This surely shows that by that time Brazil will have a new captain.